Marlins make a flurry of roster moves

May 15, 2017; Miami, FL, USA; Miami Marlins relief pitcher Junichi Tazawa (25) reacts after allowing a grand slam home run to Houston Astros first baseman Yuli Gurriel (10) in the sixth inning at Marlins Park. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports
May 15, 2017; Miami, FL, USA; Miami Marlins relief pitcher Junichi Tazawa (25) reacts after allowing a grand slam home run to Houston Astros first baseman Yuli Gurriel (10) in the sixth inning at Marlins Park. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports /

The Miami Marlins are clearly struggling this season with injuries and a terrible record. A number of roster moves were recently announced in hopes to improve the struggling club.

The Miami Marlins have been struggling for the most part during this still very young season. The starting rotation is in shambles and the bullpen is not fairing much better.

More so, the infield has been destroyed by injuries to Adeiny Hechavarria, Martin Prado, and Miguel Rojas.

In an effort to improve the team and patch together the missing pieces, the Marlins have announced a multitude of roster moves.

These moves will most likely be temporary moves, unless the players prove to be able to maintain a vital presence to the organization.

Who’s up?

Coming back to the big league team will be both Brian Ellington and Odrisamer Despaigne to join the starting bullpen and starting rotation.

In limited time at the big league level this season, Ellington has pitched in two games and allowed zero earned runs. Career numbers for Ellington are also impressive, posting a career 2.48 ERA with a 1.74 K/BB ratio.

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These numbers will be an important boost to a somewhat lackluster bullpen early in the 2017 season.

Also rejoining the big league team, Despaigne will be assuming one of the open rotation spots until Wei-Yin Chen or Jeff Locke return from the DL. As good as Ellington’s performance has been, Despaigne’s has been the complete opposite.

In his one start this season at the big league level, Despaigne has pitched 4.2 innings and given up eight runs, three of those earned. Those numbers are on par with Despaigne’s career numbers. While not impressive by any means, Despaigne will at least fill a hole in a rotation that is already in trouble.

The recently claimed Christian Colon will also be joining the big league team a depth piece for the damaged infield.

Colon was drafted by the Kansas City Royals with the hopes of being a solid piece of the middle infield. However, after struggling heavily at the big league level with batting, the Royals DFA’d Colon.

As the old saying goes, “One man’s trash is another man’s treasure”. Hopefully this saying will prove to be true as the Fish are desperately in need of help.

Who’s down?

More shocking than the fact that the Fish have made the moves, is who they have sent down. Tom Koehler, has struggled mightily this season.

Koehler will be joining Adam Conley in Triple-A NOLA. A regular back of the rotation starter for the Fish since 2013. Koehler has always put up expected numbers ranging around a 4.2 ERA. However, this season was a different story.

In seven starts for the Fish this year, Koehler has put up disparaging numbers. Koehler’s batting average against this season is almost .300 and after allowing eight earned runs in just three inning in his last outing, the Marlins are sending him down for work in the Minors.

A similar approach was used with Conley recently and things did not work out well for him in his first start. Allowing three earned runs in four innings while walking four, there is clearly work that needs to be done.

Also going back down to the minors will be Mike Aviles. Assuming he clears, waivers, which he probably will. The Marlins DFA’d Aviles to make room on the roster for Colon to join the team.

The once significant piece of the Royals and Indians infield, Aviles has struggled heavily over the past few years. In limited time with the Fish, Aviles failed to record a hit in only three plate appearances.

Headed to the DL

Junichi Tazawa will be headed to the 10-Day DL with rib cartilage inflammation. Tazawa has been extraordinarily disappointing since inking a two year deal in the off season with the Marlins.

Tazawa, who used to be a cornerstone of the Red Sox bullpen has struggled heftily against NL batters. However, his career has been in steady decline for the past few years in Boston.

We have been witness to the complete implosion of Tazawa this season. I don’t think that “rib cartilage inflammation” is entirely to blame. So far on the season Tazawa has posted a 6.60 ERA and given up runs at some of the most crucial moments for the Marlins.

While watching Tazawa in his post-game interview on the 15th, I actually felt bad for the guy. This is a player who has seen the top of the top and is now facing the extreme lows. Despite all of the criticism that I have personally given him and the signing, you can tell that he is out there trying each day.

Hopefully after this minor DL stint, Tazawa will come back and return to his Red Sox form. Both for the Marlins and himself.

Next: Justin Bour emerging as consistent threat for Marlins

The Fish will likely continue to make roster moves on the season in order to try and find a winning mix. Given the slump they are currently in, the fix will need to be very soon if they have a hope of making the playoffs.